Monday, February 22, 2010
Freelance Editors - Should You Hire One?
I recently read a great post at Kidlit.com. The article discussed the pros and cons of hiring a freelance editor, and even went into which writers would benefit from hiring one and which writers wouldn’t.
Here is the partial gist of the post plus my own input:
1. One of the most important aspects of hiring someone to critique or edit your work is to be open to criticism. If you do not have the personality to handle constructive criticism, suggestions, and/or edits, then you shouldn’t hire a freelance editor.
2. Before you contemplate hiring a freelance editor, get your manuscript in the best shape possible. What this means is you should know your craft or engaged in learning it. You should obviously belong to a critique group that focuses on the genre you write. This group should have new and experienced/published authors in it. This will help you to hone your craft through the critiques you receive and the critiques you give.
There are also a number of fantastic free online writers conferences such as the Muse Online Writers Conference (join up soon before registration closes). There are workshops offered covering just about every writing genre, plus freelance writing and marketing. AND, you will have the opportunity to pitch to publishers. Between the networking and learning, it’s not something you should lightly pass on.
Next up on the road to learning your craft is to join a couple of writing groups – again be sure they have new and experienced writers. If you’re writing for children, the best and most bang for your buck coaching group is the Children’s Writers Coaching Club with Suzanne Lieurance. Check out the article, How do You Learn to Write For Children.
3. Hiring a freelance editor to go over your manuscript will not guarantee it will get published, even the best in the field can’t promise this. What they will do is help you to get it in the best shape possible. But, whether or not you take their advice is another story. And, again, even if you do, there are no guarantees.
This holds true everywhere in the writing world. You may send your manuscript out, after it’s polished, to 20 publishers and agents and get rejections. The, you send it to one more and it happens this publisher has been looking for what your have. Time and Chance, my friends, time and chance. But, be sure, if you’re manuscript isn’t polished, you won’t ever get that far.
4. If you did your best to get your manuscript into what you think is publishable shape and you want an editor to give it a final once over, be sure to ask for recommendations from other writers.
Check out the VBT Writers tour schedule at: VBT Writers on the Move
Until next time,